Gollum’s movie was already made by fans of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, but they just killed it after 15 years on YouTube

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After 15 years and almost 14 million views, Warner has canceled ‘The Hunt for Gollum’ after a copyright strike

It is clear that Warner Bros. wants to squeeze every last cent out of the intellectual properties it has under its belt – which is totally understandable – and a good example of this is found in the approach to the universe of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ who is having the company of a David Zaslav who confessed that the IP is being “wasted” and that they are “working hard to solve it”.

After announcing the jump to animation of the saga – not of Middle-earth, which Bakshi exists for a reason – with ‘The War of the Rohirrim’, New Line Cinema has launched a new live-action film titled ‘The Hunt for Gollum’, which we told you about yesterday. But, today we are not here to talk about Peter Jackson’s next production, but about the consequences it has had for the fandom from the work of JRR Tolkien.

One copyright to rule them all

To fully understand what this is about we have to go back to 2009, when the YouTube channel Independent Online Cinema uploaded a 38-minute medium-length film directed by Chris Bouchard set between the end of the events narrated by ‘The Hobbit’ and the beginning of ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’. The production, made entirely by fans and shot with a budget of 3,000 pounds It was titled… ‘The Hunt for Gollum’.

The project, published, as its introduction states, as “a non-profit film for private and non-commercial use produced solely for the enjoyment of myself and other Tolkien fans”, As of May 9, it had accumulated more than 13 and a half million views on the video platform. But if we speak in the past tense it is because the life of the fan film on YouTube ended yesterday by surprise.

After making their ‘The Hunt for Gollum’ public, the people of Warner Bros. launched a copyright complaint about Bouchard’s work, which has resulted in its blocking. Accessing the video only allows us to see a message “Video not available: This video contains content from Warner Bros. Entertainment, which has blocked it due to copyright”, which has not sat very well with the large community of fans of the Tolkien universe. .

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In an extensive Reddit thread, you can read opinions like that of Delicious_Series3869, who illustrates the feeling of the fanbase quite well:

“This is pathetic. These greedy bastards can’t help but hoard every last penny, like Smaug. The video had 13 million views and has been existing peacefully for all these years.”

Luckily, ‘The Hunt for Gollum’ remains available on the Dailymotion account —which is still a bit of a no-man’s land— from Independent Online Cinema, and several users have decided to make copies of it in case Warner also attacks on that side. This is a good community, and not the ring.

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